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Discovery signs Royal promo deal

May 6, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Communications and Royal Caribbean International have reached a new cross-platform deal that includes a multimillion-dollar media buy across four Discovery networks-the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, the Travel Channel and Animal Planet.
“It’s a multimillion-dollar deal,” said Bill McGowan, who has just been promoted to executive VP, general manager, U.S. ad sales and global integrated partnerships, Discovery Communications.
Although he declined to specify the exact amount of the buy, other Discovery officials confirmed that the “multimillion” dollars are not trade-out or other similar valuations but instead represent the actual dollars being paid by Royal Caribbean to Discovery for its various sponsorship and advertising opportunities under the deal.
In his new position Mr. McGowan will continue to oversee all aspects of Discovery’s U.S.-based ad sales efforts and now also will manage the U.S.-based global ad sales team in New York, which will coordinate with the international ad sales teams of Discovery Networks International to execute global advertising deals.
His responsibilities also include management of all Discovery’s ad sales offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles as well as ad sales for the recently announced digital and on-demand services, including Discovery HD Theater and Discovery on Demand. Mr. McGowan joined Discovery in 1991 and most recently was executive VP of ad sales, Discovery Networks.
The two-year Royal Caribbean deal follows and extends a one-year programming and marketing partnership between the cruise line and the multi-network cable programmer.
The deal includes access to Royal Caribbean’s two largest cruise ships, the Radiance of the Seas and the Adventure of the Seas, for program development and programming and promotional stunts.
“We reach the people that go on cruises,” said Mr. McGowan of Discovery’s upscale demographics.
As part of the deal there will be a prime-time Travel Channel special set aboard the Adventure of the Seas, Mr. McGowan said. “The program on the ship will obviously not be sponsored by Royal Caribbean, because then it would be perceived as an infomercial,” he said. That special will be a behind-the-scenes look at the 138,000-ton ship itself.
Also as part of the deal, Royal Caribbean will sponsor quarterly week-long Alaska stunt programming on the Discovery Channel and Alaska stunt nights on the Travel Channel. Other elements of the deal include 56 hours of Discovery Networks programming, co-branded with Royal Caribbean, to air onboard the ships, plus Royal Caribbean brand exposure on network billboards. There will also be two Travel Channel on-air and online sweepstakes, one in the fourth quarter and another in 2003, each offering several cruise vacation prizes.